Dec 29, 2011

Chicken Cafreal ~ Goan Dish

Goa, renowned for its beaches and world heritage architecture is one of the most famous tourist destinations in India. Cafreal is a spicy chicken dish which is very popular in Goa. It is made by marinating the chicken with the paste of coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, coconut,green chilli, poppy seeds, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, nutmeg and mace powder used in the preparation. This dish was introduced into Goan cuisine by the portuguese. This can be made with chicken or fish. The dominant ingredient in this dish is cilantro or coriander leaves which gives this dish a vibrant green color. You don’t have to visit Goa(a beautiful state in India) to taste this Goan speciality, an aromatic yummy dish…


Chicken : 500 gms, cubed

For making the sauce:

Onion : 4 pieces, finely chopped
Green chilli : 4-5
Ginger : 1 inch piece
Garlic 8-9 cloves
Poppy seeds (khuskhus) : 1 tbsp.
Grated Coconut : 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp.
Clove- 4-5
Cinnamon- 1 inch stick
Cardamom : 2-3
Ground pepper- 1tsp
Cilantro or coriander leaves- 1/4 cup
Ghee : 1 tbsp.
Refine Oil : 3 tbsp.

For Garnishing :

Onion : 2, sliced


Wash the cubed chicken and pat dry it.

Grind the above mentioned ingredients for making the sauce with little water and make it into a smooth paste. Marinate the chicken pieces with this sauce about 3-4 hours (I prefer 24 hrs).

Heat a wide pan, add ghee and add onion, saute till it turns crispy golden brown. Keep aside.

Add oil in pan, then add the marinated chicken, cover the pan with its lid in slow flame.

Cook the paste till the raw smell of the paste goes away. After the chicken has cooked well and most of the water has evaporated. Stir the chicken and cook till the sauce thickens and start to brown a bit.

Transfer into a serving bowl sprikle fried crispy onion and enjoy this with rice, naan or chapathis.


This is a dish with not much gravy in it.
You could make this watery by adding little warm water after the sauce has cooked well.
I would say the thickened and slightly browned version tastes much better.

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